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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style AleSierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

6,290 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,290
Reviews: 2,814
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 265
Gots: 1,109 | FT: 40
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 02-06-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,290 | Reviews: 2,814 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yesferro
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 edition, thanks to Gyle41386

It's a pretty drink, redish brown with a long lasting head. The hops hit you in the nose, there's a sweet roasted smell in the back but mainly hops for me. I loved the taste, a bit bitter but again there's caramelly sweetness and maybe even some vague citrus. Not too fizzy and very full of flavor, kinda left my mouth dry due to the bitterness. I liked this a lot but I really wish I had let the bottle sit for a bit longer to let the bitterness fade. It's great fresh but I barely felt like I was drinking a barley wine. I'd have it again in a heartbeat though.

yesferro, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of nomomentwasted
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this out of a bottle last night, poured into a pint glass from a 12-ounce bottle. 2008 vintage, the 25th Expedition.

Appearance: Beautiful, beautiful beer. I would go as far as to say gorgeous. Lacing is clumpy and huge, head retention is fantastic, and color is a brilliant red-brown hue. I don't love giving out 5s, but I can't really think of any way this could've been done better look-wise.

Smell: Bit malty notes with some caramel and almost a dark wheat smell as well, with some floral, sweet hoppiness on the tailend. Malts are the front and center, with that hoppiness being a little more latent. Smell of warm alcohol exists a bit too, which is only mildly unpleasant. So far, an absolutely excellent beer.

Taste: Wow, for a beer from a sixer this really is delivering. The malts are immediately noticeable on top of some very intense bittering hops for the style. Almost like an IPA bitter, with some bitter and sweeter hops as the malts fade. When aerated in the mouth, the hops and malts go head-to-head pretty well, and it's simplyt a great little beer that could. Little alcohol taste as well, but it's not as harsh as some other Barleywines out there.

Mouthfeel: First little hiccup here. The bitterness is almost too distracting from the battle between the hops and malts for taste supremacy. The balance is so well struck, but the carbonation that leads to such great lacing and head is a bit too much at some times. Still, nothing awful, just the first little tic mark in the less desireable column.

Drinkability: Well, I probably could drink a bomber of this fairly easily, but be quite warm afterwards. It gets hot quick after drinking it, but for the style and ABV that's to be expected I suppose. Still, a fantastic little beer that makes me want to delve more deeply into Barleywine territory. Sierra Nevada, another fantastic outing.

nomomentwasted, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of steveh
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 edition, waiting for a good time to have one of the last bottles -- how about review 110?

A -- Dense tan head that turns cragy, but holds up well. Clear, deep red highlighted copper color.

S -- Rich, caramel-sweet malt nose perfectly balanced against a citric hop character. Some clay-like earthiness coming through, I commonly notice this in aged, high malt, highly hopped, English style brews.

T -- Spicy alcohol and bitter hops up front, blends into rich and sweet malt character with some citrus hop character present and peppery alcohol in the finish. Some underlying dark fruit character comes through with warmth.

M -- Sharp mouth feel up front with dryness from alcohol, medium heavy body with big syrupy malt chewiness. Definite warming from alcohol -- reminiscent of whiskies.

D -- The drinkability is not for beer beginners. Don't start off your macro friends with this one, you'll just scare them away. This is not a beer to session, but it does go down very nicely.

steveh, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of MaxBrews
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 2009 Bottle poured into snifter.

Appearance: A big and luscious off-white brownish head, with good retention that dissipates into a thick and soapy lacing. Is dark ruby red in appearance. I'm giving this a 5 in this realm, cos no beer has provided such a mystifying color, large head and beautiful lacing. Usually the alcohol in such a beer would limit this.

Smell: The aroma of this beer is outstanding. In a room where there are no other odors you can step back from your glass and actually pick this up. The first thing you get when pouring is hops but that is quickly replaced dark caramel malts, bourbon, alcohol, sherry, raisins/prunes, black cherries (dark fruits), and brown sugar. What an aroma!

Taste: This is a complex beer. Different sips pick up different bits but with a large gulp and some swirling you get, buttery biscuit, dark fruit (see aroma), alcohol and even a bit off coffee towards the end of your sip. This is of course while the beer provides a huge hoppy backbone. This beer is steeped in hops and really adds a certain something to the earthy and generally dark taste. Perhaps a crispness and a bit of excitement. I would not have this beer any other way.

Mouthfeel: Someone described this beers palate as chewy and I'll agree with them. It definitely has a heavy, body and some dryness & bitterness from the hops. But along with that theres a sweetness that makes this all ok. This beer covers all its bases.

Drinkabilty: A barley wine for the hopheads and the rest of us. A complex maltiness followed by a strong hoppiness. This is rather drinkable for a barley wine, which will get you in trouble cos its 10%abv. A MONSTER OF A BEER.

MaxBrews, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of GreenCard
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[Review of a bottle of 2003 Bigfoot]

Appearance: ruddy dark-brown, slight haze, minimal head formation

Aroma: big blooms of rum, brown sugar, sherry, prunes, caramel, candied orange/grapefruit peels

Flavor: medium malt sweetness laced through with oxidation, burnt sugar, and orange liqueur; late-hitting coffee-like bitterness riding into a dryish finish; also hints of unsweetened cocoa, caramel, and rum raisin

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, pert carbonation, alcohol warmth, slight astringency

Other comments: I've had a few bottles of this stored in various conditions (and not really the best for cellaring, if I'm honest), but it has held up pretty well. Still a great barleywine.

GreenCard, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of pmccallum86
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008 25th Anniversary edition Bigfoot.

Wow, this beer immediately out of the bottle blasts you with a wall of malty aromas. Pours a very deep hazy reddish gold with a medium sized creamy head. The smell is of malt, tons of malt with hops being slightly detectable. Caramel scent along with dried fruit. The taste of this beer is overwhelming in the best way possible. Holy shit this beer is loaded with fruit, caramel malt, grapefruit hops and too many other flavors for detection. Great mouthfeel, very full bodied with medium carbonation and at 9.6% ABV it is quite scarily undetectable. Drinkability is great, goes down very smooth. Wow this is an amazing barleywine.

pmccallum86, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of OlRasputin989
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: a hazy dark brown-red with a big fluffy creamy tan head. leaves alot of lacing

S: very bold. you can smell it on the pour. sweet! french toast, vanilla, bananas, and caramel with a hint of bourbon-like alcohol and pine needles

T: plums, brown sugar and earth up front with a finish of sprucey hops, wheat and lemon-pepper. very bittersweet.

M: heavy and chewy with a lively, tingling carbonation with a warming and drying finish.

Overall, this beer is big and brawny and at the same time delicate and savoring. Definitely worth your troubles.

OlRasputin989, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of jera1350
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 2006 vintage.

Pours a deep golden brown with bits and pieces literally suspended in place. One finger sticky head reduces to a ring and leaves some nice lacing.

Smells like on big overripe fruit salad. Dark fruit, some banana, a bit of booze, caramelized sugar, and lots of hops.

Warm, sweet caramelized malt. Some brown sugar. Nice big hops. Alcohol is present. Big and complex.

Nearly full bodied, sticky, chewy and a bit syrupy on the tongue. Smooth and big.

Damn drinkable for a beer at this ABV. It's one of the best barleywines out there and a pleasure to drink.

jera1350, Aug 08, 2009
Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is the 2009 edition I'm trying.

A: It pours golden amber with some red tones. The large longlasting head is off-white and leaves heavy lacings as it dissipates.

S: Here you get nice hoppy notes, both floral and bitter. But there is also sweet malt, dried fruit and in the end some faint alcohol.

T: This is the king of hops, here are heavy bitter hops, some floral hops. Then there is alcohol, some sweet malt, dried fruit and a very odd dryness.

M: The aftertaste is so longlasting containing dryness and bitterness, but also some sweetness (from the malt), the mouthfel is heavy and awsome.

D: You must try this one - the hops will blow your mind!!!

Evil_Pidde, Aug 05, 2009
Photo of ThickestHead
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

'04 vintage on-tap at Roman's Pub in Milwaukee.
Opaque dark copper/mahogany color with a dense little head.
Smells of sweet caramel and brown sugar maltiness and piney hops.
The first sip is kind of bitter but as the mouth is coated with the tasty sugary malts and the hop oils each subsequent sip becomes more enjoyable than the last.
Super chewy and thick. Impressive stuff.

ThickestHead, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of madpentzer
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer at my local liquor store around the corner from my house. I got it in a six-pack of 12 ounce bottles. When drinking this beer I was amazed at the complexity of the flavors I experienced. Although outright impact on the taste bud's in the intense flavor of hops (having 90 international bitterness units), the beer is surprisingly well balanced by the malt. The flavors were so rich this beer seemed almost chewable. The aroma was filled with the resinous smell of hops, and then topped off with a bit of sweet malty and fruity character. Though the alcohol content was close to 10 percent, the alcohol taste was not overpowering at all and the drinkability of the beer was quite good. It poured a beautiful clear reddish-brown and had a nice fluffy head in my chalice. This is one of my favorite examples of the American barleywine style ale. Its almost as good as Stone's Old Guardian, but falls just short of that in my opinion. I would like to age some of these for a while at home and then see how it effects my view on this brew, although I already think it is great with out any aging. I've never seen these in 22 oz. bottles, but it would be cool to see some of them if there are any because buying a six pack of this type of beer feels weird to me. Overall a really impressive beer and I would recommend this beer to any beer nut.

madpentzer, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of Casey10
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Version will mostly age a couple of these for awhile.

A - Dark amber red frothy head.

S - Citrus, grapefruit, slight spices.

T - again grapfuit, slight pine, hoppy fresh.

M - stong tart and hoppy.

D - could drink a couple probably not a lot at once. Look forward to a couple after some ageing.

Casey10, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of david18
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada does everything so well and dependably but they have become so ubiquitous that I often overlook them for something more obscure. However, whenever I see the stout, porter or barleywine I always make a point of getting one. Not as think as many and also not as hoppy, this is a perfect balance of malt, hops and alcohol for a great winter warmer.

Had this beer again and was very refreshed to taste such a balanced beer that was a good change from a double ipa with many of the same characteristics.

david18, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of MunchkinDrinker
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark hazy amber to red with a thick dark cream colored head and lacing all the way down.

S - Big grapefruit nose with a strong malt sweetness backing it up.

T/M - If the malt backbone wasn't so strong it would easily get smothered by the grapefuit rind hop flavor. Thick juicy mouthfeel compliments the hops nicely. On the aftertaste you get a slight malt chalkiness alond with some residual grapefruit flavor.

D - Very tasty, but this is a big beer and I wouldn't drink more than 1 a night.

MunchkinDrinker, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of srandycarter
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 Vintage

A - Pours brown blended with amber, off white 1 inch head, reduces fast to disk, lots of lacing all over the glass.

S - Pine, Citrus and Cooked sweet malt, all in large measures.

T - Big malt is the predominant taste, heavily backed by TONS of hops. Almost smokin bitterness.

M - Fairly thick, great carb, good balance.

D - I like it, but after one, I need a lighter fare.

srandycarter, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of ShogoKawada
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 6-pack of this. 2009 vintage.

A- Pours a nice earthy brown with a moderate head.

S- Hops and malt sweetness out the wazoo. Fresh, floral hops.

T- Amazing. Hops and malt are here at 110%. With the intense flavors, you hardly notice the high ABV. I taste grapefruit hops, caramelized malts, and bitter hops in the end. Very very good... nay...great!

M- Amazing. Great beer balance helps hide the 9.6% ABV. Malts help bring the whole shebang together.

D- Moderate to insanely high depending on your preference for in-your-face brews. An intense brew.. not for the timid. Still, I think this beer goes down with ease. I've put off this one for a while, and can't for the life of me think of why. SN puts out quality beer, and this one shows it in spades. Bravo!

I plan to make this one a staple in my fridge. This is the first beer in a while to knock my socks off. Amazing!

ShogoKawada, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of wl0307
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2008 Vintage/25th Expedition! BB 25/01/09, served cool in Tripel Karmeliet's long-stemmed, flower-bulb shaped sniffer.

A: the colour comes dark ruby, with a decent but not fierce input of carbonation and a lovely, thick and creamy dark beige froth that lasts extremely well, leaving even lacing as it slowly retreats.
S: superb, like a DIPA, the aroma bursts with Cascade's bouquet of sweet citrus and overripe lychee fruits, syrupy+creamy caramely malts, really dense honey-ish notes, and random inputs of dates, fat (preserved) cherries and figs. A swirl gives rise to a very mild edge of fruit esters as of ripened pears, but not quite assertive as a traditional English Barley Wine, due to the heavy presence of US hops on the balance. The overall aroma is intensely perfumy and hoppy, yet balanced and complex at the same time.
T: a lubricating slurp of marvelously flowery, piney and lychee-ish juicy hops plus rich caramely malts precedes a rather soothing edge of tangy+tannic bitterness, as of dried citrus/grapefruits and stems of semi-fermented teas; as the bitter palate prevails, the rich yet belated fruitiness consisting of longan-fruits, nectar and rum-soaked sultanas manages to chime in. In the finish, aromatic Chinese tea-leaves, hop oil and perfume linger with the 3D grapefruit bitterness and an herbal "bite", in an assertive but still elegant manner.
M&D: softly carbonated, full-bodied yet ever so easy to drink due to the attenuated alcoholic feel, this beer is uncompromisingly hoppy, bold, bitter, and tannic-dry, actually much more in line with the style of a DIPA (or "Triple" IPA?). I can't see the point of branding any ale "American-(something)" if only it is extra- or over-hopped with American hop varieties, which hardly merits a new beer category IMO, but the experiment in this bottle is truly sublime all the same. I haven't forgotten the initial shock and eventual, extreme joy when I first tasted the 2005 Vintage - my first ever experience with an American Barley Wine, while the performance of this bottle connects me to that fond memory just seamlessly and ever so vividly! To me, this is a world-class heavy ale.

* Tasting Date: 16/11/2005
Got this beer at the UTOBEER beer stall in the Borough Market, London. On the cap it says "Bigfoot 2005 expedition", so that's Vintage 2005 I believe. Apart from that there's no freshness info. on the bottle.
4.5 A: served in a goblet, it comes with a slightly hazy, ruby hue; I manage to pour an extremely thick and fluffy off-white head which "egg-shell cracks" ever so slowly, leaving different layers of fine lacing; pretty static body, as far as my eye-sight could manage. Looking nearly perfect, like a glass of port if without the foam.
4.5 S: as wildly malty as incredibly hoppy--hallmark of oily, fat hops (Cascade?) reminiscent of the heavier American IPA/DIPA even...; after swirling, a flow of intoxicating, intense and mixed aroma comes through, with intense aroma of caramel (liquid form), sharp pine-wood smell, preserved prunes, dried longan-fruits, over-ripened lychees, a dash of orange syrup, and (maybe) a sprinkle of cinnamon or other spices. Overall, the aroma, despite its thick, even syrupy texture, shows great complexity and depth.
4.5 T&4.5 M: thick, syrupy and oily texture of fruity malts pours in, almost immediately bringing on board a wave of powerful bitterness so tannic and herbal it transforms the impression of the nose in no time! Lots of dried fruits as identified in the aroma, all wrapped between the mighty oily hops and underlying bitter taste. The tannic bitterness lingers too well, like the kind of mouthfeel you get whilst wrongly crushing grapeseeds b/w your teeth; but this one goes even deeper down the throat, well balancing the undesirable sugary and alcoholic aftertaste. 120%-bodied and fuller-than-full-flavoured barley wine it is, with a thick mouthfeel supported by tiny bubbly texture of carbonation--just about right.
5 D: this is my first-ever bottle of American barley wine, and it's incredibly delicious as well as surprisingly balanced. It's so different from those English barley wines I've tried which tend to taste "older" and mellower. In a sense, it bears much resemblance to other types of American ales maybe thanks to the bulk of strongly-scented hops used in this ale, even reminding me of some fantastic characters of SN's own Celebration Ale, but of course this one is of different type. Overall, this is a good digestif to replace a vintage port for me this winter. Though it's not something to savour for more than one bottle, I think the "drinkability"--overall performance, satisfaction vis-a-vis expectation--is sublime. I shall buy some more bottles for ageing and see if it indeed improves with age like a port~~

wl0307, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of aaronxsubaru
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tastes like a condensed beer. Quite good and strong. Back color. Smells like smells sweet and bitter at the same time. Hints of orange pith maybe. Tastes like it smells. Great balance of hops and malts. I think I am becoming a fan of barley wine. This is a great brew. If you get the chance give this a try. It's really full flavored

aaronxsubaru, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of SpdKilz
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Seriously, a beautiful ruby red color with a mahogany tint. Amazing head, good lacing.

Smell - Hoppy, but honestly not very "bitter" in the aspect, more of a sweetness to it.

Taste - Immediately I taste a sweetness which is followed by a bitter/hoppy taste. I can also taste citrus and caramel.

Mouthfeel - Quite thick in texture, almost like syrup. Not much carbonation when it hits the pallet but it fits the beer.

Drinkability - When cold, the alcohol is not as prominent. As it has warmed up to room temperature the booziness has become more prominent but not in a "distasteful" way. An amazing drink and I'm sorry to not have found out about it until recently.

SpdKilz, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of froghop
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage

pours a dark copper with a small beige head that becomes very thin, a little lacing.

smell of barley, burnt caramel, dark fruit, spices, citrus, some roasted nuts, and a touch of floral in the back

taste is creamy, thick, warming, alcohol comes through but not overpowering, some tart and sour fruits, caramel, and some roasted nuts, a very nice bitter ending.

froghop, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of number1bum
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can't believe I've never reviewed Bigfoot! 2009 vintage. Pours a dense, dark amber color with a very creamy two inches of tan head. Retention is excellent, keeping a very thick, flufffy lace and leaving a mess of stick. Perfection.

Smell is aggressively hoppy for a barleywine, with lots of citrus and pine. Also a rich, bready caramel malt aroma with a light toastiness.

Taste is even hoppier than the nose, with big citrus and resiny flavors as well as sticky pine. Malt backbone, like the smell, is very solid as it should be, with a big caramel flavor along with some lightly toasted, biscuit malt flavor. Hop bitterness is also pretty aggressive but not out of line. This is just extremely well balanced and I love how hoppy it is. The alcohol isn't completely masked but it's not hot either. It lets you know of the beers strength without getting obtrusive. If the alcohol were masked a bit more this just might be a 5.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and very creamy. It's downright chewy, with a richness to it that is complemented nicely by the slick, oily hop feel. If the alcohol were masked a bit more this too might be a 5.

This is just a fantastic beer fresh, and although I'm ashamed to say that I haven't had it aged I'm putting some in the cellar to see how it progresses. It's hard for me to imagine that I'll like it better aged, however, as I love the hoppiness of it. I feel the same way about Troegs Flying Mouflan; I'm not sure which of the two is hoppier fresh, but they are both outstanding barleywines. Great stuff.

number1bum, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of DwnTwnBwn
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured in to a snifter. It is a dark Auburn, hazy, with a kakhai head. The head never truly falls completely away. Laced the glass the whole way down.

S - You can smell how big this beer is. Lots of hope notes pine and citrus. Sweet caramel malts and just a touch of tabacco finish off the smell.

T - Very complex flavors. There is a full hoppy shmorgus board of flavor. Very yeasty bread notes with fruity esters. Not much alcohol for how high it is.

M - It definitely leaves an impression on the tongue. Tons of carbonation, very full body. Slightly warming.

O - This beer is not for the timid. Tons of flavor packed into a bottle.

DwnTwnBwn, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of chrhowe
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 12oz bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

A very dark, cloudy, reddish appearance with a little, 1/2 fingered head dissapearing fast but the lacing for some reason was stellar!
Lovely malt presence, dark fruits, and a hop flavor thats quite subtle.
The taste folows the aroma of malt, dark fruit, adds a little spice, and has a great hoppy bitterness at the finish.
What a creamy, smooth beer! A great full bodied beer, not too hot with the alcohol. And the carbonation is controlled very nicely.
I really like this beer. Great balance, tolerable alcohol presence. Be careful, too much too quick and you're jacked. But a great, great beverage.

chrhowe, Jul 18, 2009
Photo of Nibbley
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 2008 25th Expedition release.
Pours a lovely reddish-brown with a good 2 finger head that lasts the entire glass.Good lacing down the glass.
Smells of dark fruit and fresh baked rye bread.
First taste bring a wallop of hoppy bitterness that mellows into a nice malty backround. Warming alcohol is nice but not overpowering.
Exceptional example of the style.

Nibbley, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of superdedooperboy
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2009 batch poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Served at cellar temperature, 50 degrees F.

Pours a beautiful clear, deep reddish hue with a full, creamy light tan head that fades to a thick bubbly cap that casts a few splotches of lace on the walls of the glass as the glass drains. Displays some legs as the glass is swirled.

Aroma is rife with rich malt and fruity estery goodness, along with a mighty hop kick. Luscious notes of figs and prunes meld delicately with a hint of caramel and bright, floral, citrusy hops. Each noseful is a delight.

Quite full-bodied though certainly far from syrupy, with just a mild carbonation that provides just the faintest prickle on the tongue. The palate is mostly hop-forward, with a definite citrusy hoppiness that screams DIPA; but then, this is an American Barleywine, and the line between it and the venerable DIPA is a thin one. The barleywine nature shows through in the rich maltiness that undercuts the hops, though it is quickly forgotten thanks to the dry bitterness that is accentuated by the alcohol that shows through in the middle, carrying over well into the finish, seemingly soaking all moisture from the palate and leaving a bone-dry, grapefruity hoppiness that lingers long after.

Delicious but, naturally, the high alcohol content hinders drinkability. Certainly an excellent American barleywine, but one that deserves a bit of mellowing to tone down the hop level and bring out the malts and delicious fruitiness. Ken Grossman has stated that this one is at its best after a year of age; I may certainly have to test out his judgment.

superdedooperboy, Jul 14, 2009
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,290 ratings.